What is Executive Presence?

Executive Presence is a hot topic these days, but few can actually define what it is. In the past 30 years, I’ve been hired by many companies to coach an employee’s EP and most will tell me, “I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, but I’ll know it when I see it!” So I developed a four-facet model for Executive Presence—Communication, Confidence, Charisma, Image—and those that want to convey a strong EP should work to develop all of these areas.

Speak to Influence – Today’s leaders must be able to listen effectively, ask the right questions, distill key points, and build consensus—and do it all with grace and gravitas. How well do you share your ideas, drive the discussion, and move others to action?

Master Your Nonverbal – Body language is a dominant force in your communication and can be more persuasive than words. Those with EP have mastered their nonverbal messages and use this silent language to convey confidence and influence those around them.

Present with Impact – Doors open to those who can stand (or sit) and deliver a good presentation. EP masters know how to tailor their content and deliver it in a way that keeps their audiences engaged.

Be Authentic – A strong EP aligns the inner self with the outer expression. Are your beliefs, values, and principles reflected in your behavior? Are you authentic, empathetic, and able to show vulnerability and humility to others?

Act with Integrity – When you have EP, you have the courage of your convictions and are able to stand your ground in the face of opposition. You’re able to speak assertively and truthfully, as well as take responsibility for your failures.

Command the Room – Those with EP have excellent “people skills” and are able to develop rapport quickly and easily. Their ability to connect and share their vision helps them build a strong network of relationships that will be valuable to them both now and later

Project Social Savvy – How you treat others demonstrates EP and can set you apart as someone with class and sophistication. You understand the finer points of business and social etiquette, including client/colleague courtesies, techno-etiquette, and dining skills.

Manage Your Reputation – How are you perceived by others? Do people think of you as credible, reliable, consistent? Do your words match your actions? Those skilled at EP are able to craft and control the stories people tell about them and, as a result, develop a reputation that will serves them well.

Dress to Impress – A strong EP means you’ve learned how to package your appearance so that you always look appropriate and polished. Your wardrobe and grooming choices are appropriate to your industry, role, and corporate brand.

Learn more about how The Edge Executive Coaching can design a customized coaching program for you. You can also click here to receive “Seven Strategies to Develop Your Executive Presence.”

© 2019 Jill Hoel